I just caught my husband of over 9 yrs cheating with several different women. I have confirmation of sexual intercourse (unprotected as well) and I want to file for divorce. I have multiple witnesses to his adultery and one of the women he slept with is willing to testify in court that they had an affair.
Someone told me I should wait until our anniversary in March, 2010 because we will be married 10 years at that point and they said I will automatically qualify for alimony at that point. Is this true?
I am solely dependent upon my husband's income and have not worked for 10 years. If he leaves, I do not know how I will support our current bills.
Criminal Defense Attorney
I think your "advisor" has the matter a little confused. I believe they may be referring to Social Security benefits which, upon being married for ten years, you will receive the same level of benefits upon reaching retirement age.
I don't know that it has anything specific to do with alimony. If you cannot support yourself, you may be entitled to alimony, but probably not lifetime alimony. Most states are moving towards putting everyone back on themselves for support over a reasonable period of time rather than the old life time ideal that used to be prevalent.
I suggest you consult with a good matrimonial attorney and see what they say as I practice in NY.
Don't worry. You're OK either way. There was a case some years ago that held that a judge should make a presumption of permanent alimony after a couple has been married for ten years or more. Some lawyers have treated this case as saying that you'd better stay married for ten years in order to get the best deal, but that's not really true.
You've been married long enough to qualify for permanent alimony as well as possibly rehabliitative alimony and limited duration alimony. It all depends on the facts and the factors that apply to your case.
You certainly have grounds for divorce under the adultery statute. And because you are the dependent spouse, I'm sure you will qualify for alimony and other rights in your case.
I wrote the book entitled "The Portable New Jersey Alimony Handbook." Please feel free to call me or visit one of our offices in Short Hlils, Roseland, Newark, Fort Lee, Jersey City and other locations. Call (201) 804-9000 or (973) 682-9999.
We'd be happy to help you.
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-- Mark S. Guralnick